Mueller Probe May Have Joined Forces With the IRS

It's one way to get to Trump's tax returns
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2017 6:45 AM CDT
Report: Mueller Probe 'Teams Up With IRS'
Former FBI Director Robert Mueller, the special counsel probing Russian interference in the 2016 election, departs Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

In his investigation of alleged Russian election meddling, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly teamed up with the agency that brought down Al Capone: the Internal Revenue Service. Sources tell the Daily Beast that the former FBI director is now working with members of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, which specializes in tax evasion and other financial crimes. It's not clear how many of the division's 2,500 agents might be involved in Mueller's investigation, but the alleged move is seen as a sign that the probe is focusing on possible financial wrongdoing involving members of the Trump campaign suspected of colluding with Russia, reports Business Insider.

"The FBI's expertise is spread out over so many statutes ... they simply don’t have the financial investigative expertise that the CI agents have," says retired CI agent Martin Sheil. "When CI brings a case to a US Attorney, it is done. It's wrapped up with a ribbon and a bow." One bonus of involving the IRS could be that it has access to Trump's tax returns—though if the agency does join the probe, it may revive GOP complaints that the agency has become politicized. Mueller has reportedly also teamed up with NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to investigate former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort's financial history, a move that could pressure Manafort into cooperating in the larger probe. (Read more Robert Mueller stories.)

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